The first ten minutes of the meeting were open to the press. Over soft drinks and snacks, Fischer introduced himself and his staff to the lawmakers. He then outlined his plans to build a better relationship between Louisville and Frankfort. Among the chief issues that the city and state need to work together on, he said, are the bridges project, reusing abandoned properties and education.
“How can we help? I’d like to see the community have more discussion on student achievement and student outcome and less on these divisive issues that get people talking the impact on adults as opposed to the impact on students and student achievement,” he said.
On bridges, Fischer said a cost-benefit analysis on the Ohio River Bridges Project should be put together and presented to area businesses because business leaders need to know how the project will affect them. The mayor is also championing a proposal to scale down the bridges project to cut costs.
“Nobody wants tolls, but if there’s a local toll, it’s got to be low enough so our local commuters don’t think twice about going back and forth,” he said. “I emphasized the need for multi-axle tolling so that the businesses that are using it understand there’s a different cost structure for them.”
Fischer also told the lawmakers that in addition to the General Assembly, he plans to have close connections between his office, the Metro Council and Washington D.C.
“Obviously it’s a new day for the city with a new mayor. That doesn’t mean the old mayor was a bad mayor, it means it’s a new day. New days bring new possibilities and new relationships,” he said.